The Spartans hit four home runs in the victory.
By JOE SCALZO
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
BOARDMAN -- The first time Boardman junior Tom Zetts faced Mooney's Dan Cashon, he saw four pitches and struck out swinging.
The second time was a tad more enjoyable.
Zetts hammered a three-run home run to deep center in the second inning, the first of four Spartan homers, as Boardman beat the Cardinals 10-2 Friday at Boardman High School.
"I'll tell you what, that felt so good it was unbelievable," Zetts, who plays quarterback for the Spartan football team, said. "He left it over the plate and I guess I got a little lucky."
Boardman had just two hits in the second inning, but scored five runs. Cashon nearly got out of the inning giving up just two runs, but Andy Good reached on an error with two outs and Zetts, who added an RBI single in the sixth, followed with the homer.
Matt Repec and Sean Curry hit back-to-back home runs in the fifth and Giancarlo Silvestri added a solo shot in the sixth for the Spartans (7-0, 4-0 Steel Valley Conference), who beat Mooney 8-1 on Thursday. Ryan Vaughn added two hits and scored twice.
Mark Sikora went the distance for Boardman in his first varsity start, giving up two runs on five hits, striking out six and walking none.
"I felt pretty good," Sikora, who didn't know he was pitching until earlier in the day, said. "I was throwing strikes and our defense helped. Everybody got the job done."
Added Boardman coach Scott Knox, "Mark was outstanding."
Mooney's Dean Palombaro had two hits, including a two-run double, and reached all three times he came to bat. Bill Diorio and Joe Burke each scored for the Cardinals (1-7, 0-4).
Trying for title
Boardman lost seven seniors from last year's state semifinal team, but return 10 lettermen.
"We want to go all the way," Zetts said. "That's the first thing on everybody's mind."
The Spartans play Brunswick, one of the state's top teams, in a doubleheader today. And Knox doesn't just want them to play like champions, he wants them to act like champions.
"Great teams have swagger," he said. "The experience we had last year made us hungry for this year. I think it gave us some confidence and made us a little more comfortable in big games.
"When it comes down to a tight environment, we can take that experience and turn it around to our advantage. We have high expectations."
Boardman uses a six-man rotation, led by aces Repec and Mike Krieger. Curry and Good add depth, as does Zetts, who will face Brunswick in the first game.
"I think they have a real good chance of winning the title," Mooney coach Tom Flynn said. "They have all the tools. They hit the ball well, they have good pitching, they're good defensively and they're well-coached. They're just an outstanding team."
The Cardinals have struggled this season, but playing teams such as Boardman should help them improve, Flynn said.
"We've played better, but they're a great team," he said. "We have the potential to improve and get a lot better."